Today I talk about comparison and how it impacts your relationship with yourself and with food. Karlygash calls to explore sabotage and shame.Josh calls on with an update on the “miracle” of not bingeing for a week, realizing there are unconscious reasons for choosing food, and he's ready to explore the hopes and fears that have been keeping him stuck.
You're listening to the Dr. Nina show with Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin. Only on La talk radio.
Dr. Nina: Welcome to the Dr. Nina show here on La Talk Radio. I'm your host, Dr. Nina Savelle-Rocklin. And I am here to help you break free from body shame from binging and from diets that don't work. I want you to wake up and think about your day, not your diet.
And by the way, if you love the show, please take a moment to rate or review it on Apple Podcasts. I would really appreciate your support. Because the more ratings we get, the more people I reach, and the more people I can help. So thank you in advance for helping me do that.
And if you would like to join me today, the number here is 323-203-0815. I would love to hear what is on your mind, what is weighing on you. Because the real problem with binge eating, stress eating, any kind of emotional eating, any kind of compulsive eating, the real problem is not food. The problem is what is eating at you.
So let's talk about that. Give me a call. Let's see what's going on with you. And by the way, I'm going to talk about comparison, but if you want to talk to me, feel free to interrupt me at any time because I would rather hear from you. Then keep talking. I can always go back to my topic.
Alright, so I started to talk about this last week. We are heading towards the holidays. We are coming out of the pandemic. We're starting to get together. Let me ask you, does that make you happy or anxious? Or both?
Because a lot of us avoid social events, we're afraid that we're going to be the biggest one in the room, or we're afraid that we're going to be the least successful one in the room, or we're afraid. We're just not going to measure up in some way, literally or figuratively.
Comparing ourselves to other people only makes us feel bad. And that can lead to binging. Because sometimes eating is a way that you get away from your own.
Oh, your own mean voice.
Dr. Nina: Karlygash, no, I cannot hear you.
Dr. Nina: Now I can hear you. Now I can hear you. Hi, Karlygash, welcome to the show.
Karlygash: Hi, Doctor Nina. You can hear me well now?
Dr. Nina: You're a little bit. Your voice is a little bit low. But I can hear you.
Karlygash: How about this?
Dr. Nina: It's much better. You're getting some love on Instagram, by the way, and Rene, Thank you. It's my real background. Karlygash, what's going on? It's been a while. What's going on with you? How can I help?
Karlygash: Oh, my God. Dr. Nina, thank you so much. It's so good to hear your voice on this Wednesday morning. So delightful. I've been working all this time. I've been working at my new job. I do freight brokering, and I'm thinking about my to-do transportation business. You know, and maybe some of the listeners know where I was coming from. How troubling and challenged and how I was pushing through. So now, as for like, job site, I feel a little better. You know, because it's, it's a better pay. And the job itself is more rewarding to my intellectual abilities. Because I'm like, I found out along the way working with you, I found out that I've remembered that I'm actually very smart. So I'm putting my intelligence to use. That's not going very smoothly. It's going. I'm making it going. But you know, as any process in life, probably not only with me, it's a rough process. And, you know, and it has nothing to do with my intelligence because it turned out to be rocket high. And like, I would have heard from so many people in the industry that hearing this petition and an American that like oh my god, how do you do that? You are like the fastest-growing agent. We've never seen success like that's. How do you do that? And I'm like, Guys, I'm not even trying to work hard. I'm just..
Dr. Nina: Karlygash, Can I ask you what is it like to have an idea about yourself that you used to have, which is that you weren't good enough? You weren't smart enough.
Karlygash: That's the interesting part. That's the Interesting part, Dr. Nina. I wanted to share my insight with your listeners. Because see, I'm I turned 37 A couple of weeks ago, my problem was never like intelligence or the ability now to do something or something. I had that, but because my mindset, it's not about the mindset that the way I grew up, the people I grew up around, those ideas I internalized for the lack of not having like other ones, or, you know, the right ideas being presented in the other language. So it took time for me to learn the English language, so I actually could get access to the right information. Then once I learned the English language, I had to like, you know, work on the people around me and PTSD and abuse and all the stuff I'm still working, don't get me wrong, there are days where I feel very bad. And I would say everything,
Dr. Nina: Karlygash, I need to stop you. First of all, your voice is a little bit muddy. Like I'm not hearing you very clearly. Right? It's a little bit hard to hear you. Are you on a speaker or anything like that?
Karlygash: No, I turned off the speaker. I'm just on my phone.
Dr. Nina: Maybe you're too close to your phone or something. But how can I help you today?
Karlygash: So Dr. Nina, I figured out that I need to work on really shedding off other people view about me. And I would really make it the skill to make it may be faster because I do have success in this area. But like I turned 38, and I became very sad that 37 on all 37 years of my life, I spent on pain, struggle, and suffering. I don't want to do that anymore. But like sometimes, when I do, it's not a smooth process. Now when I do reach success, I either sabotage it, or you know, it's like slower, or like, everything is out there, it's in front of me. I just need to take it and put it in my pocket or put it in my life, you know, but like, it's not that physically on stop. I can take money, relationships, everything inside my head, Dr. Nina. I feel a majority of time unworthy or things like oh, you know, it's not for me, it's for some other people. So I'm a hypothetical, people who are better than me or who deserve. I need to struggle.
Dr. Nina: Karlygash, stop, stop, I get it. The reason I'm stopping you is because when you use that voice all the time, it can feel very real. And you don't want to give it power. And the reason I cut you off is because I cut that voice off rudely. I don't want to hear that voice. You don't want to hear that voice. The reality is that we talk to ourselves in that way.
Even when you're on the show, explaining it. There's a way that you were a little bit over-explaining it, which indulges the voice, which gives it power, and we don't want to power. No! That voice, we know the voice. You don't need to repeat the voice. The voice tells you you're not good enough. You don't deserve it—something along those lines.
And what you want to do is look at where did that voice come from? Instead of saying, la la la, I'm not going to listen to the voice that doesn't work, instead of giving yourself affirmations. Oh, I'm worth it. I'm a loving, lovable person; that's not going to work either. Got to look at whose voice is that? Where did you learn it? And what purpose does it serve? And I know from the previous calls that you have when you've called the show, and of course, I know because you know of our work together in the Bringe-Free Babes and Diet-Free Divas. I know that that voice keeps you connected to your family.
So even though you moved from Kazakhstan to America, which is huge, took so much courage and resiliency. There's a part of you that stays connected to them. Look like viewing yourself through their eyes. And that's the part that you have to challenge and work through. So what is the problem? The problem is not that their voices are in your head. The problem is that you want to feel attached to this family by doing it in that way unconsciously now conscious.
Karlygash: Dr. Nina, can you please tell me that if I detach myself from my evenness awful family, I will not be because sometimes, you know I feel like Before I detach from them, I feel like you know, by staying connected to them, I kind of keeping like, being like-kind or something like, you know, like, reserving the last humankind qualities for myself, I think I'm afraid sometimes inside that if I don't do that, then I feel like I failed them.
Or like, you know, as if I abandon the handicap I abandoned, you know-how in many religions, they say if somebody is in need you go and help them. But I feel that if I detach disconnect, I will not help button just telling you that I realized that it's in my head, it's not in reality, I haven't been talking to those nasty, some of the nasty people for like, already a year or so maybe more.
Dr. Nina: But they've been talking to you. And they just made themselves heard with me when I made them, their voices is in you stop talking. And, that is how we stay connected, it is not your job to take care of them. They made it you made it your job, they made it your job. And it's those early, its those early messages that seem to be in the past but are alive and well in your present that need to be identified and challenged.
And, of course, it's better to have a family than have no family. Even a toxic terrible family is better than no family. And that's why you really have to look at it. We're born into a family. We're born into the family, we have no choice in the matter. Some people might disagree with that. But we're, we randomly are born into whatever family we're born into. And we have to make the best out of that.
Karlygash: That's true
Dr. Nina: But we can also choose a family of friends.
Karlygash: Thank you. This is, you know, I'm still learning to do that. Because, it's just a little different in my country, because if you say bad things about your parents, especially in my culture, especially in the culture, people look at you like you're like the Satan coming from hell the worst thing in the world because you're supposed to cherish them.
And I had to like; I had to really challenge those ideas. And I do, and I don't, but I genuinely think that I cannot be connected to toxic family. I can offer them education. I can offer them help, how to go to therapy, help themselves, educate themselves on finances, and everything. But I cannot keep feeding them or like, keep giving them torture me for their satisfaction because they don't know how to organize their lives in effective and organic. And like when working way for everyone for everyone's benefit, or for at least you know, some neutral position where they're pleased, don't hurt.
Dr. Nina: So, Karlygash. A couple of things. One is you're not talking badly about your family. You're talking about how your family affects you. You're not saying those are such bad, horrible people. I mean, maybe they are, but that's not what you're we're talking about.
We're talking about how did they affect you. And you have a right to say I reject this painful relationship. You could stay connected with them, and also, this goes to explain versus blame. Blame is, I feel so bad because they treat me so badly—poor me.
The other is explain. Oh, that's victim me, right. The one blame explain is, oh, I have this relationship with myself and therefore with food, because of the way I was raised and treated. And I internalized that, and that's why I do what I do. And I want to work through that. So that I can create change, that's empowering, not blaming. So first of all that and secondly, you spend a lot of energy thinking about how to help people who don't want your help and not enough time thinking about how to take care of yourself.
Karlygash: That's true. Thank you! I will work on this one. It's because you know this skill was never showed to me or just said to me as hey girl into the dead back. You know, I feel more mature now, and I feel that I can challenge those things and really mind my own business. Yeah, it's time. Doctor, now so I wanted to ask you very quickly, I have the shame over what your show is like, you know, I feel like you know how you have hard time you work into the therapist and then you grow, for example, a year ago as a babysitter struggling in two years ago, you know, I hadn't even worse stuff. But now, like one-two years past, I'm in a better place. But like anyone can listen to your best shows and listen to what I was, but I feel always I feel like a stupid clown. I'm so sorry to say that, Dr. Nina, but…
Dr. Nina: I have something to say about that for sure. Karlygash, listen to me when I tell you this. I have people who have who they'll reach out to me, and they'll say, I've just listened to every show you've done, which is over 220 shows, by the way, at this point. And what they will say is, oh my gosh, when Karlygash first started, first started talking to you, she was here. And then, to see her progress was so cool. And it gave me hope to see to have Nicole, see where she was. These were all like you and Nicole used to call me very regularly. Josh has been calling recently, and people also say how much they appreciate that.
Karlygash, when people listen to the Old shows, and then they listen to the new shows. Like you give them hope because they can see your insight glowing and your ability to relate differently to yourself, and they can see you going from a babysitter to a business owner. How amazing is that?
Karlygash: Well, I mean, I was a business owner back in my country, but I mean, it was yes, I was the very edges.
Dr. Nina: I'm talking about you.
Karlygash: When I came here, my internal stuff came out because I felt safe in the country here. Because here being a woman you will not be attacked by the police and the police catcalled, obviously.
Dr. Nina: Stop!
Karlygash: I could relax here. But our internal thinking.
Dr. Nina: Karlygash, you have you have to stop. Because you're going off on a tangent, I was telling you you said you feel shame because people listen to the earlier shows. And the earlier shows you are a babysitter dealing with some very difficult kids who are running your life and abusing you basically just as your family abused you.
Karlygash: I mean, they are not bad, but like
Dr. Nina: Listen
Karlygash: I wish I was helping, but I was not.
Dr. Nina: Karlygash
Dr. Nina: Okay, Sam, can you mute Karlygash.
Dr. Nina: Karlygash, you have to listen to me. You have to listen. You have to listen.
Dr. Nina: Karlygash, you to have to stop. Otherwise, I'm gonna have Sam mute you. You have to listen. You just said you had shame because you were struggling with things. And now you are now, and you worry that people listen to the old shows. And you feel shame about that. And I said, you know, they've seen you go from a babysitter to a business owner? And what do you say? You tell me how you used to be a business owner, and the kids weren't really so bad. You're missing the point.
The point is people have seen you grow from struggling and feeling helpless and powerless in a job that did not live up to your intellectual abilities to a position and a job in which you are empowered and doing well—and putting your degrees and everything to work for you. And yet you defend the boys, and you say you used to be a business owner, you're missing the point, which is, please see your own growth other people do.
Karlygash: Thank you, it helps. I know, I think I know where the shame is coming from. It's of course, coming from the past where you know, because as a kid, nobody was interested in promoting me and growing me and teaching me that was not of the interest of the people surrounding me. But people were interested in just using me as the instrument as a tool for their own growth, my intelligence, you know, my body, my company, my energy, whatever I had.
I have to say I it was just a very painful position because I may not see it with my consciousness, but I feel it that I'm connected to these people just because they need something from me. So and it's a very painful place to be. So I'm so grateful to you, this show, and all your programs.
Honestly, when I met you that I will I was looking for you my whole life. Because with you everything is so fast. It's a rocket lightning speed. I mean, for people who could see it, like yesterday, I shared with a therapist, I said, Hey, I emotionally detached from my mom. And she said, Oh my God, Karly, this is so big. And I'm like, Thank you for acknowledging that because your professional like you can understand it. Whereas some people like whatever my friend, I told them, I see just a blank face no reaction, and then like, oh, they don't realize like the value behind it.
And so the shame is coming from those days. I think that I just realized that, you know, it's okay. Some people can be shy. But I have this courage to speak openly. And if tomorrow somebody will tell me something. I will tell you know, that's my life. That's what I did to the best I could with the resources I had. And I'm actually very proud, and that is hard to admit that I'm proud, but I will work on this one.
Dr. Nina: That is a beautiful place to stay, and we'll stop there because I want you to end on a note of recognizing right the ladder of life you got to, we're always looking up, we never feel like we're anywhere. But we have to look down and say, Wow, look how far I've come. I'm so proud of myself.
And that's what you're saying. And when you say that, it mitigates shame. Shame is the idea that there's something wrong with us. There's nothing wrong with you. There was a lot wrong with your circumstances, and you've worked very hard to challenge them and overcome them. And your journey is inspiring to others. But I also hope that you're able to recognize it for yourself. Thank you, Karlygash.
Karlygash: Thank you so much, Dr. Nina, and thank you for mentioning the supportive comments from the listeners. It really helps.
Dr. Nina: Yes, when you are talking. You are helping other people too.
Karlygash: Thank you so much. It really helps. I always forget it, but I know why. But we'll talk about it next. Thank you so much, Dr. Nina.
Dr. Nina: You're welcome, Karlygash.
Karlygash: I really appreciate it.
Dr. Nina: Bye for now.
Karlygash: Great day.
Dr. Nina: Bye. Now, I can interrupt Karlygash as I as I did, you know, I can be a little bit harsh with her harsh, direct, I can be very direct with her because, you know, we have a connection. And she knows that sometimes. She's asked me to cut you know, tell her stop, stop. So I don't want to scare anybody.
If you call, I'm not going to cut you off like that. Karlygash has been calling for a long time. And as I said, she's also in my community. So don't worry, I'm not going to cut you off unless you start being mean to yourself, in which case, yes, I'm going to cut you off because we don't want to hear from that mean voice.
But I do want to hear from you. So if you want to know, if you would like to call and talk about what is eating at you. The number is 323-203-0815.
Okay, so basically, you know, what Karlygash was saying at the end was that she was comparing herself earlier and the struggles that she had earlier to herself now and feeling shame about it. And that is shame about having struggled.
Shame is a sense of, there's something wrong with us. And there's nothing wrong. If you are struggling, it is for a reason. If you are having a hard time with food, it is for a reason. If you're turning to food, you are turning away from something else.
And the idea is to be a detective of the mind. And look at well, why am I wanting to eat that? What is going on with me? What problem is that food going to solve? Because binge eating, stress eating, emotional eating, it is a solution to the problem. It is not the problem. It just seems like the problem.
So one of the problems that we see a lot is comparison. Comparison is the thief of joy said Theodore Roosevelt, and boy was he right? Comparison just makes you feel bad about yourself. Karlygash is saying on Instagram, I asked my, I'm still learning to form and shape my thinking and caring about myself. You cutting the mean voice helps me, actually.
Yes. Yes. When, so the next time you're mean to yourself. Karlygash, I want you to remember me going stop, stop, stop. And I want you to stop and detach from the mean voice and come from a place of interest and compassion and support and encouragement.
All the things that you do and anyone who could relate to Karlygash. If you are nice and supportive and generous and kind to other people. Just be that to yourself. That is a hard thing to do sometimes, but it's so necessary.
So comparing to other people though, that's a tough one. Josh is on. Hi, Josh.
Josh: Hi, Dr. Nina. How's it going?
Dr. Nina: Hey Josh, what's going on?
Josh: Good. Not much. I just wanted to say thank you for helping me last week, I really had a great week, I felt as though a lot of my eating issues just disappeared. I really just haven't needed to eat as much as I wanted to. And obviously, it's due to the work we did. I had a bit of this about maybe a month ago or so.
But then I sort of broke the spell, and I went back to eating, but this time, I've actually sort of stayed with it for an entire week, which is just a miracle. And really, the idea is just I just need less food. I'm not eating as much. And it feels like I'm not eating anything really comparatively with what I was doing. So I just wanted to say Thank you. So, yeah.
Dr. Nina: Well, you're welcome. It sounds like you're what you're doing is eating, eating because we have to eat to live and breakfast, lunch and dinner and it should be yummy. By the way, my one food rule is it should be yummy. It should be good. But that you're not eating to resolve something emotional. Because you're able to be kinder to yourself, I'm guessing. I'm hoping.
Josh: Yeah. Yeah, I think, you know, it's for me, it's an intellectual thing. I feel like I mean, it's obviously not. It's a very somatic bodily thing. But for some reason, I was, you know, eating, not consciously feeling like I needed to eat more than I was eating. For some reason, the weirdest thing now is I'm like, how am I even living eating this? This little amount? And I'm absolutely fine. It's really amazing.
But the fear that I'm having, which I could share with you, is, are you sure you know, the voice in me is saying, Are you sure this is okay? You sure you're going to be healthy? You know, not eating as the way you are? And physically, I'm, I'm absolutely fine. I'm probably eating like maybe half as much as I was eating. I was amazed to see that I was eating, eating as much as I thought I was if that makes any sense.
Dr. Nina: It does make sense. You know, obviously, I hope you're not restricting or anything like that. But when you say to yourself, are you notice the pronoun shift? Are you sure? You're not saying? Am I sure that I'm eating enough? You're saying, Are you sure you're eating enough?
So really, like, who is that person talking to you? What voice is that? And really, it's not about food. It's not about what you're eating so much is. It's about why. So if you were eating to put yourself in, you know, comfort yourself, or put yourself in sort of a zone where you're not being mean to yourself, or you're escaping or numbing or whatever it was.
Or even, you know, a relaxing your body, because one of the ways to manage anxiety is to eat a bunch of carbs, and then you get into that like carb coma, and it's, and you're not so anxious. So, so it's not what you're eating. It's, it's, it's why that is important. Hopefully, you're eating because you.
Josh: Yeah and what, what kept me going is just, I would get the urge to eat. And then I remembered you saying, you know, it's not what you're eating. It's what, what's eating at you. And so then I would say, Okay, what's eating at me, and generally what it was was, was it, it was people or groups of people that may be politically I didn't agree with, or morally, that I felt that I was up against.
And that's why I was eating to sort of soothe myself from, say, other people's, what I perceived to be mistreatment of me or other people. And when I recognized that, I didn't have a problem; I just didn't. I didn't eat. And you know, it's funny to watch myself, I'm still looking, I look at food, I'm thinking of food like I'm writing on the cost, to going back to, you know, where I was when I was eating more because I can see the interest is it's very hard to unlearn this. So yeah.
Dr. Nina: And, and that's, and that is very normal. You know, that's not a word I love to use. But it's very common. It's very typical that that change is not a straight line. It is really the proverbial two steps forward, one step back, three steps forward, one step back.
It's not like all of a sudden, everything changes. It's more like, like this, like, oh, you binge every day. And then you binge, you know, half a day, and then you binge once a day, and then you don't binge, and then you've binged, and then you don't binge for one day, and then you don't binge for three days, and then you binge again, and then but then you binge less.
So it's not like one day you stop. It just doesn't work like that. And the important thing is not to focus on the food, but focus on your awareness, if you are aware of why you're doing it, that's success. If you go back to food and realize and even ask yourself the question, what's going on with me?
What's eating at me is, am I eating, you know, to comfort, numb, distract myself? Am I converting emotional pain to physical pain? Why am I doing that? If you can do that, that's the measure of success, not what you're eating, when you really change the language of successes.
Josh: I think for me, you know, it was I was feeling comfort. I was feeling like someone was hugging me, and Maybe the people that I was dealing with, I didn't feel comforted by them. And so the food took the place of what I expected or wanted other people to how I wanted other people to treat me. That wasn't happening, that I was getting from eating.
Dr. Nina: Josh, how do you comfort other people? If you have a friend, someone you care about? Who needs comfort? Do you say, I know just what to do, eat this? Or do you say something to them?
Josh: Yeah, I usually just try to be very present and honest with my feelings are with myself, not to an absurd degree, but I try to be present and honest and kind. And, but obviously, I'm not being present and honest and kind if I'm just eating unconsciously and unmindfully to dull the pain that I'm feeling, you know, from others.
But really, it's not from other people. I should have realized this a long time ago that, really, I'm the one causing myself my own trouble, that it's really doesn't have to do with other people that there are ways to live where you can be happy, even if other people are not, you know, treating you well. I mean, this is not. This is not how we should be as adults. I mean, that's maybe how we were as children. Maybe you can comment on that?
Dr. Nina: Well, yes, that's what you that's what we know. And that's logical, but it is the psychological. We know what we know. Half the time, we know, but who cares? It doesn't matter what we know. It's not logical. It's psychological. And so, therefore, you have to think of it as a muscle to practice being present and honest, and kind with yourself.
And instead of observing yourself and saying, Well, why haven't I been present, honest, and kind thus far, I should, should have, would have, could have, but that just makes things worse, but to say, Okay, here's an example of I'm going to be in the moment, and I'm going to be present with myself. And I'm going to be honest and kind to myself, more, less of an observer and more of a responder.
Josh: Yeah, and I'm unconsciously looking at food. I'm thinking of food. And I'm not even aware that I'm doing it. So I'm trying to get go back, you know, my body and my mind are still playing this unconscious game where I'm not obsessed with food. But certainly, I'm thinking of it a lot.
And I, some someone was, I was overhearing someone talking about what they were having for lunch. And I found myself being overly interested in that conversation then. And then I recognized why I was. I was not hungry, not physically hungry. But I was looking to go back to sort of medicating myself again.
Dr. Nina: Distracting exactly, if you're, if you're thinking about food, you're not thinking about something else. If you're eating, you're not thinking about something else, and you're not feeling something. So it does so much for us. That's why it is a frenemy. It is a friend, it does so much, but it also is an enemy in that it hurts us.
And the more that you're aware, and being self-aware of, oh, what would I be thinking about? If I'm not thinking about this? It might be thoughts that you are uncomfortable to have. But there are thoughts that you have to think and face and work through and process.
Josh: Yeah, and I think what's amazing to me that I'm starting to get to hopefully I will get to next week is what does the food or the lack of food open up for me in my life? What's going to fill the place of the food and I actually had this vision, I said, Something's gonna come in place of this food that I've now given up. And I think that is what really can be transformative in the work that we're doing is what, what is the next step? It's certainly not going to have anything to do with food. I don't think.
Dr. Nina: Exactly. You know, it makes me think about, and I think I've shared this before my very very first group of for women with binge eating the one that in my book, I say that the first day of this first group, one of the people looked at me and said, What is a skinny bitch like you know about eating disorders.
It was mortifying anyway, in that, and I told her why that I had been the poster child for eating disorders. But one of the women in that group kept insisting that it was about food and she was a food addict, and She did have, you know, all of this the whole time.
And at the very last day of the very last group, she said, Well, maybe if she were not thinking about food or trying to lose all this weight, that she would want to leave her husband, which was so powerful, right? She, she finally admitted it to herself into us. But she did it on the last day, so we couldn't explore it.
But thinking about her weight, and thinking about food, kept her from recognizing that not only was she miserable in her marriage, but she actually wanted to leave her marriage, which scared her. So focusing on food, eating, and weight, and all of that helped her avoid that thought.
Josh: Yeah, I mean, for me, it's the tip of the iceberg. You know, what I was doing with food is just the beginning of what I'm going to be doing. And I think, you know, that's what can help me stay on track. Because it's not just about food, it's going to be about my entire life, and how it's structured, and how I feel about it. And what I'm letting in and what I'm not letting in. Because it's so deep, it's so primal. It's so close to the heart. That's now about a bit.
Dr. Nina: And its never about
Dr. Nina: And so, it could be you could have conflicted feelings, you could be kind of excited. Wow, what, you know, what's going to happen? What am I going to think about? What am I going to? How am I going to create my life? This is cool. And another part of you might be scared. Oh, oh, no, what am I gonna think about? What am I gonna want? What's gonna happen? You? And that's conflict, where you have a hope and a fear about the very same thing. But when you
Josh: Yeah, I think that's fair.
Dr. Nina: Yeah. And when you work through that conflict, you don't need to eat over it.
Josh: Right, right. Right. You know, in other words, what you're saying is, if the future is scary, we didn't, we wouldn't want to close it down by eating when that was our issue.
Dr. Nina: Yes, if the future is scary, then hey, let's have a conversation about what's scary. Like, that's what's eating at you. That's what's weighing on you. What's scary? What, like, what comes to mind? What are the hopes? And what are the fears? Or what are the fears? And what are the hopes because both.
Josh: Well, the hope, the hopes, and the fears are just about something that's unknown. You know, something that has yet to be realized. You know, I think anything is scary when we don't know what it is. But I think that if we can stay open long enough, it's not scary at all, it would be beautiful, it would be magical.
Dr. Nina: Exactly. And learning to tolerate that with one comes the other. With hope comes a little fear. That's okay. You can feel the fear doesn't have to take over. And there could be, and there could be all kinds of other prohibitions.
Some people want to be really successful, but there are some kind of obstacles in their way messages that, oh, you know, success. If you're a successful person, you're somehow a bad, unethical, amoral person, just thinking about someone that I knew once who was from a very religious family and, and believe that successful people were somehow, you know, at work with the devil.
I mean, that was an extreme example, or you don't deserve it, or you can't be more successful than your parents, or there could be so many, you can't compete with your parents or, you know, there could be so many different reasons why you might feel afraid of the very thing that you want, but it's being able to look at that is free.
Josh: Yeah. And that might have been the reason why one of us took up eating in the first place. I mean, if we, if we started to eat in childhood, and now we're adults, and we've stopped eating well, there's going to be maybe a conflict waiting for us as well, not to be overly negative about what a cure of sort of an eating disorder would look like. But certainly, I mean, it must be tied into the maybe the reason why you started to eat in the first place.
Dr. Nina: Exactly. And by the way, Karlygash on Instagram is saying, Thank you, Josh. Yeah, yeah,
Josh: Yeah. And I mean, I'm not. I'm not talking about you. I'm just talking about anyone. Obviously, your issue was that you weren't eating because I guess your father's said, don't eat literally to you or, or I remember that from last week. You know, something about him prohibiting your eating, which obviously, as a child, you want to listen to because you'd be too terrified to, to not.
Dr. Nina: Oh, no, I didn't listen to him. And my, my mother told me, and this is when I was four, something four foot four, four years old or something like that. She told me, and I hadn't I have no recollection of this, that he would not let me eat when I was hungry, I could only eat during meals, and I could only have so much so because, for his own reasons, I won't even go into that. Sorry, dad. But, and so I would go and sneak food out of the kitchen and go into a closet and eat it. So that's a whole other thing. There's is always.
Josh: You were made to feel shamed about eating.
Dr. Nina: About hunger, yeah.
Josh: You were made to feel ashamed.
Dr. Nina: Yes, and, and about what is just a normal, natural need. And this is the beginning of for me and other people who find, feel shame. Lots of us feel shame about normal natural human needs and wishes, whether it's for food or connection, love, whatever.
If you don't get it from a person, by the way, you're going to look for it from food, which represents in our psyche relationship. So nice turning the tables on me, Josh, and getting me to talk about, my history, but I'm really interested in yours.
And so I hope that next week, you'll call back and talk about some of the fear and the hope of what is the future look like? If you're or what does your life look like? Or what is, you know, what's next for you? What is going to occupy your mind? If you're not thinking about what you're eating? Or what you weigh? What's eating at you?
Josh: Yeah, I just want to say one more thing about what I picked up last week, from what you said about your dad, is that, just imagine if someone was told, Hey, don't be successful, you can't be happy.
You know, you can't have friends, you can't have interests that are outside the family. You know, I mean, there are so many prohibitions that are placed on children, you know, food would just be one of the many prohibitions that a parent would put on, that we're still dealing with today that we may never undo, really. Well, that's just want to say that.
Dr. Nina: That's a very good point. And it happens all the time. You know, we, we like this. We don't like that. So if you like that, then somehow you're not one of us. I mean, there could; there are so many messages that are at play here. And yes, we want to be interested in all of them.
But I want you to be interested in the messages that you Josh got, as a boy and as a man, about wanting more in this world about being hungry for more. And about having a satisfying life. All of those things. Notice the words I'm using are both are very food-related. Hungry, starving, wanting more. Yeah. And give it some thought. And next week, let's look at that conflict, that, that hope and fear about what's next.
Josh: Yeah, and I just want to close by saying the eating looks like a cure. It looks like I'm curing myself by eating, but it wasn't a cure.
Dr. Nina: It's, it's a solution to the problem. It is not a problem. This is not the problem, right? The problem is not food. The problem is why you are turning to food. If you are turning to food, you're turning away from something else.
If you're thinking about food, you're not thinking about something else. It protects you in some way. But it also hurts you. And so being able to recognize what is the thing, what is it doing for you, is really transformative when you can identify and work through that when you can comfort yourself in a different way, when you can respond yourself in a different way.
Otherwise, eating serves many, many purposes. We want to find new ways of responding to yourself, new ways of thinking about the future new ways of being in the world. And when you do that, food becomes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, and you eat when you're hungry. And again, what is my only food rule? It should be yummy. That's it.
Josh: Well, thank you very much. Dr. Nina.
Dr. Nina: You are welcome. Josh, thank you so much for joining, and I look forward to continuing the conversation next week.
Josh: Sounds good. I'll call you next week. Thank you.
Dr. Nina: Okay, you are welcome.
Dr. Nina: Okay, so Let me go back to the idea of a comparison. So this woman, I'm gonna call her Zoey. Not her name, but I'm calling her that she struggle with binge eating, and she really wanted to be a member of a support group.
Now I am all in favor of support groups. They're so helpful. You meet other people who are struggling with the same thing. Also, mitigate shame when someone else is doing the thing that you are so ashamed of doing.
When you realize like, you're not the only one who's, you know, digging cake out of the garbage bag can after everyone else has left the party. When you realize that you're not the only one who's thinking about food first thing when you wake up, and all the stuff that you're eating or whatever, then when you realize you're not alone, it can be an incredibly comforting experience.
You're not the only person who feels so powerless over overeating. And by the way, if you are interested in joining one of my groups, I have two binge-free babes, diet-free divas. They are amazing groups, you get to meet with me once a week over zoom and talk personally to me about whatever is going on. So check those out if you want.
So, Zoe, she kept telling me she wanted to join a group. But something kept coming up. And she had a zillion excuses about why she wasn't joining the group. And finally, I said, Zoe, you have a lot of legitimate excuses or reasons why you can't get yourself to the group. But I wonder if something else might be going on? Right?
Logically, she wanted to go to the group psychologically, she did not want to go to the group. And she finally said that she was afraid to go to the group because she was afraid that as she put it, she would be this is her words, the fattest one there.
And this fear also affected her personal life. She wouldn't meet friends in restaurants because she was afraid that people would look at her because she would be the, as she put it, the fattest one there. She didn't want to go to the gym for the same reason she was so concerned about feeling as if she'd be under the scrutiny of other people and being judged that she stayed home. And what do you think she did when she stayed home? She ate.
So whether or not she would have been the biggest person in the room or the Zoom Room is really irrelevant. People often feel like they're too big when they're 140 pounds, or 240 pounds or 340 pounds. It doesn't really matter. It's really not always about how much you weigh it is your perception of yourself. It's not about your actual size. It's about the size of your self-esteem.
And Zoey, her self-esteem was really in. I don't know how low can you go under the ground. It was sub-zero. And she was always disparaging her weight. And because she would do it before anyone else could do it to her, right. And so she would accuse herself of having no willpower, she would poke her stomach and say, oh, so disgusting, so gross. I mean, she would, she would even call herself like this; this is so gross.
She was very judgmental of herself. And she was very focused on her body as the thing that defined her. So to stop comparing yourself to others, you have to challenge the ideas about yourself that negatively impact your self-esteem. Because when you feel good about yourself your whole self, you are far more likely to use food for comfort or distraction.
And to feel better about yourself. You got to look at two things. You got to look at your relationship with yourself and your relationship with others. You got to understand where the critical thoughts are coming from the self-critical thoughts are coming from. And then, it's important to examine your experiences with other people and how they have impacted your ideas about yourself.
And we kind of talked, you know, when I was talking to Karlygash, those of you who have heard her in the past, the family voice really became her voice. So the family was judgmental and mean and said mean things to they said mean things to her. And she incorporated that she internalized those voices and started saying mean things to herself.
So I'm out of time. So next week, I'm going to continue this. We're going to talk about your relationship with yourself and your relationship with others and how that impacts your self-esteem and how that, in turn, impacts also your relationship with food.
So thank you so much for joining me here on the Dr. Nina show. I am here live every Wednesday at 11 am Pacific. You can. I'm also on Instagram, streaming on Instagram. You can also listen later on Apple podcasts or wherever you get podcasts.
Once again, if you love the show, please take a moment and leave a rating or review on Apple podcasts because that would mean so much to me. Again. The more ratings I get, the more I show up in searches, and the more I show up, the more I can help people, and that's what it's all about. So help me help people. Have a wonderful week, and I will see you here next week. Bye for now.